Caesar necessariis rebus imperatis ad cohortandos milites, quam in partem fors obtulit, decurrit et ad legionem decumam devenit. Milites non longiore oratione cohortatus, quam uti suae pristinae virtutis memoriam retinerent neu perturbarentur animo hostiumque impetum fortiter sustinerent, quod non longius hostes aberant quam quo telum adici posset, proeli committendi signum dedit. Atque in alteram partem item cohortandi causa profectus pugnantibus occurrit. Temporis tanta fuit exiguitas hostiumque tam paratus ad dimicandum animus, ut non modo ad insignia accommodanda, sed etiam ad galeas induendas scutisque tegimenta detrudenda tempus defuerit. Quam quisque ab opere in partem casu devenit quaeque prima signa conspexit, ad haec constitit, ne in quaerendis suis pugnandi tempus dimitteret.


Caesar gave the necessary commands, and then ran down in a chance direction to harangue the troops, and came to the Tenth Legion. His harangue to the troops was no more than a charge to bear in mind their ancient valour, to be free from alarm, and bravely to withstand the onslaught of the enemy; then, as the enemy were no farther off than the range of a missile, he gave the signal to engage. He started off at once in the other direction to give like harangue, and found them fighting. The time was so short, the temper of the enemy so ready for conflict, that there was no space not only to fit badges in their places, but even to put on helmets and draw covers from shields. In whichever direction each man chanced to come in from the entrenching, whatever standard each first caught sight of, by that he stood, to lose no fighting time in seeking out his proper company.

Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards


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